By Obas Esiedesa
The sacking of the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed has pitched power sector workers against themselves.
While the local unions at TCN headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday protested against his dismissal by the Minister of Power on Tuesday evening, the national body of electricity workers applauded the Federal Government move.
Engr Nwachukwu Wisdom, North West Zone National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) CEC accused the Minister of not following due process in the sacking of the Managing Director.
He said the workers at the headquarters would not go back to work until all the security agents deployed to TCN head office were withdrawn.
The workers also accused the national body of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) of being behind the dismissal of Mohammed.
But in a swift reaction, the SSAEAC, praised President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman for sacking the MD just two years into his four-year tenure as substantive Managing Director of the Federal Government owned power transmission company.
A statement by SSAEAC General Secretary, Umar A. Dubagari said the said the sacking liberated “the hub of power sectors (TCN) from the stranglehold of a despot by relieving the former MD of his misfit position”.
The workers union which had a long running disagreement with Mohammed alleged: “We foresaw this when we exposed his background and character which he covered up with falsified CV that misled the government. We are glad that the truth has prevailed with the announcement of the removal of recalcitrant and insubordinate MD TCN, which is a welcome relief to TCN staff and power sector operators”.
Dubagari who listed several allegations against the former MD, noted that with his removal “All Nigerians should therefore look forward to improved services in TCN since workers are liberated from the fear stranglehold of the man aimed at personal gains”.
Speaking in a separate interview, the President General of SSAEAC, Engr Chris Okonkwo said any attempt by the local unions in TCN to embark of strike has no support of the national body as there are lay down procedures for declaring strike or industrial dispute.
He stressed that the Minister acted within his power having obtained the approval of President Buhari.
The Minister had on Tuesday announced the sack Usman Gur Mohammed following the President’s approval.
The explained through his media aide the dismissal was “part of continuing measures to reposition and improve the performance of the power sector in the country, the Honourable Minister of Power Engr. Sale Mamman hereby announces major changes at the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
“Accordingly, the Managing Director of the TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed has been removed from office with immediate effect. He is being replaced with Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, as Managing Director, in acting capacity.
“The Honourable Minister has also confirmed the appointment of four directors who have been on acting position in the Company for some time.
“They are: Engr. Victor G. Adewumi, Executive Director, Transmission Services Provider; Engr. M. J. Lawal, Executive Director, Independent Systems Operator; Ahmed lsa-Dutse, Executive Director, Finance & Accounts and Justin l. Dodo, Executive Director, Human Resources & Corporate Services.
“All the changes/ appointments have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari”.
Gur Mohammed, a staff of the African Development Bank (AfDB) was appointed Interim Managing Director of TCN on February 1, 2017 for a period of 12 months.
He was however appointed substantive Managing Director a year later four-year term.
Meanwhile, the Minister on Wednesday charged the new management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure the timely completion of all substation and transmission projects across the country.
Mamman in a statement posted on his Twitter handle said he gave the charge when he received the new Acting Managing Director of TCN, Mr Sule Abdulaziz and his team in his office in Abuja.
He said: “I met with the new management of the TCN today after participating in the virtual Federal Executive Council meeting which President Muhammadu Buhari presided over.
“I have charged them with ensuring all substation and transmission projects are completed within the shortest possible time.
“I have also tasked them with ensuring dedicated, purposeful and selfless leadership at the TCN,” he said.
He assured the team of all the necessary support and cooperation from the ministry of power, adding that he was looking forward to improved electricity transmission across the country.